What comes to mind when I say termites? Invisible little creepy crawlies hiding in amongst the roof, walls and floors of your home, as they march up and down the inner cavities with all their other creepy crawly buddies? Hoards of unwelcome insects chomping their way through the very foundations of your home? If that’s what you’re thinking, you’ve nailed it.
Termites are a sneaky bunch. Not only are they completely hidden from view, but it could take years for you to notice the amount of damage they’ve done until it’s too late… and by golly, they can wreak a lot of havoc when given the chance.
How the heck did they get inside?
You might be wondering, how did they get here in the first place? Well, just like humans, termites have good taste in weather. So as soon as Spring comes around, you can bet the termites have well and truly woken up and are about to get busy. However, just because they’re more active in the warmer months of the year, does not mean that they take a break in the cooler months. Termites are voracious and before you know it, they’ll find a way inside your house and take up residence right under your very nose. All they need is one tiny crack and they’ll be setting up little termite camps all over the shop. What’s worse, is that they’re crazy about humidity, so anywhere that’s warm and moist such as a tap or a pipe is going to become their number one breeding ground. Yes, that’s right, your taps could be full of countless little termite babies. Not the most romantic thought…
When the good weather arrives, it sometimes brings along – termites. Indeed, it is during the spring and summer that these insects proliferate the most because it is moist and humid. Which is not to say that the unwanted little ones sleep in autumn and winter. Termites are insidious insects capable of infiltrating the narrowest cracks to find their home – wood! Termites can also breed in moist and humid places like your pipes and taps and enter your home through it.
So what the heck can you do about them?
So far, all we’ve discussed is just how adept and undetectable they are so you’re probably beginning to wonder if there are any options you have left that don’t involve blowing up your home or living in an underground bunker.
Well, I’m not going to lie… termites are a problem, and it can be infuriatingly hard to get a full-blown infestation under control, but that does not make it impossible.
Let’s go through some surefire ways to help you keep those pesky critters at bay:
We need to start by getting rid of all the wooden materials that may be surrounding your home. This is because any wooden resources are going to attract those termites like bees to honey, and act as a seriously scrumptious appetiser, overshadowed only by the main course – your home.
So with that in mind, be sure to remove any firewood, wooden building materials, wooden furniture, etc., and relocate them to a much further distance from the house. Another termite-friendly snack they can find almost irresistible is compost – so again, try to keep that far from the foundations of your property. This way you won’t be unwittingly inviting any unwanted guests of the Termitoidae variety. Because seriously, who wants them around for dinner?
Remember what I said about the termite love nest? Humidity is a serious mood cultivator, so we want to try and minimise moisture and excess humidity wherever possible. So this will mean you need to fix any leaking taps, water fittings, or pipes around the home, and even better still – it might be worth investing in a small humidifier if you want to be completely sure.
Along the same as vein as step 1., you’re going to want to ensure that any wooden scraps or build up of plant matter are removed or taken as far from your house as possible. If you have leftover timber from building that’s just lying around near the home, you should take that away and store it safely in a shed. Just get it out of here. Also, look out for any rotting tree trunks and decaying branches as these make the perfect holiday retreats for those crafty little fiends.
If you’re in the process of landscaping or have any retaining walls or design features made from mulch, you’ll want to watch out. Mulch acts in the same way as compost – it’s deliciously moist and harbours a the warm and humid environment that’s ideal for termite habitation – the attraction doubles if you have sawdust or woodchips. So depending on how you’re using it, you might want to think that design feature, otherwise just keep any excess at a generous distance from the house if you want to deter those icky anthropods.
Check for red flags! If you know the tell-tale signs of a termite invasion then you’ll be able to get to them before they do too much damage. This is key! One of the major warning signs to keep an ear out for is if any wooden foundations around the home sound hollow when knocking on them. This will be due to the fact that they’ve been munching away at the inside of your wooden frames. On the contrary, if their food is coming from outdoors they will often leave tiny remnants of wood behind since termites aren’t the most well-mannered eaters.
On top of this, if you are unlucky enough to be plagued by the little insect demons, then expect to find droppings, wings, and also mud tunnels leading to their little demon dens.
If you do happen to come across any mud tunnels then you’re going to want to seal up the entry points and do your best to cover any cracks lining the walls, as well as fixing up any broken pipes or faucets. This will ensure that you can stamp out as many access points they have into your home as possible. Maybe also put up some miniature signs that say “termites not welcome” just to really get the message across.
Lastly, it’s going to be a wise idea to have a termite and pest inspection undertaken by an expert. As clever and adaptable as I’m sure you are, there are just some things best left to the professionals, and this is one of them. By hiring someone to perform a termite inspection, you can then rest assured that you’ll know 100% what you’re dealing with and exactly what needs to be done to fix the problem. Such a service is available through Building Masters Inspections and with a combination of expert training, first-class technology, and years of experience, we will do the hard work for you so you can sit back and enjoy that peace of mind.
Taking preventative measures is always going to be the most efficient way to eliminate any future issues though, so look for those warning signs, move any wooden materials and debris from the home, and start knocking on wood. Best of luck, you termite hunters!